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Monday, October 17, 2011
Updated: October 31, 1:01 PM ET
Hang on, Sage is calling

By John Clary Davies
ESPN.com

Sage Cattabriga-Alosa filming in Alaska with Teton Gravity Research.

Sage Cattabriga-Alosa has appeared in the last nine films from Teton Gravity Research, including the newest one out now, "One for the Road." Actually, appeared isn't the right word -- he's ruled the screen in nearly every one of those films, earning three Best Male Performance titles from the Powder Video Awards over the years. On a recent vacation to Peru, we asked Cattabriga-Alosa to call us whenever he felt like, as many times as he wanted. Here's how the conversations went.

Wednesday, 3:39 p.m., Peruvian local time

Sage Cattabriga-Alosa: We've been in Peru for about eight days. We just rolled to Machu Picchu. That was a pretty mind-blowing place.

ESPN: How's your Spanish?

SCA: Not so good. I wish it were better. Whenever I'm here, I'm like, 'Oh, man, when I get home I've got to learn more,' and then it never happens.

ESPN: How was the premiere of "One for the Road?"

SCA: I was in Jackson for the premiere for about a week. I got in a bunch of mountain biking and we had some TGR meetings and get-togethers as well.

ESPN: Like a TGR team dinner?

SCA: Yeah, totally. Several of them. A TGR team dinner, then we had a TGR golf game, and then a core group of TGR athletes and crew got together to talk about plans for next year. I'm pretty fired up. The whole week was pretty motivating for winter. I get all re-excited about skiing.

ESPN: Was that the first time you had seen the movie?

SCA: Yeah, it was. I like it better that way because it's more of a surprise going to the premiere, and it seemed like all of the athletes were in the same boat. No one really knew what we were in for.

ESPN: Do you like the on the road lifestyle?

SCA: I think at this point I sort of need that in my life. It's just what I know now.

Friday, 12:49 p.m. Peruvian local time

ESPN: Did you make it to Burning Man this year?

SCA: Yeah. It's a really rewarding experience. It's a harsh desert climate. It can be beautiful, but there can also be gnarly windstorms that last all day long, where it's whiteout conditions. It sort of has similarities to skiing.

ESPN: Really?

SCA: I had never been on an expedition before, like an actual mountaineering expedition, but I'd been to Burning Man -- this was my 11th year -- and prior to going this year I went to Denali with The North Face with Conrad Anker and Ingrid (Backstrom) and all these people -- Jimmy Chin and Jim Zellers -- who have done crazy expeditions for a while now. Going on this trip I saw so many parallels that I was prepared for because of Burning Man.

ESPN: Like what?

SCA: Being in a harsh climate, working super hard, getting where you're going and then you've got to work together to set up camp and make tea or water. So there are all of these elements where your community, your crew, is really a huge aspect of your experience.

Artwork created by Cattabriga-Alosa from a photo taken while on a trip to Alaska.

Monday, 12:31 p.m. Peruvian local time

ESPN: How are the empanadas?

SCA: We keep missing the empanada girl.

ESPN: I was checking out your art online. It looks really cool. How do you do that?

SCA: I have a Wacom tablet. When you touch the pen to the pad it draws. It works with Photoshop, and I use this program called Corel Painter, and it realistically mimics actual paint so you can click if it's oil or watercolor or whatever. It's pretty amazing.

ESPN: There's one I really like with trees and mountains at dusk.

SCA: That's kind of an old one and one of my favorites, too. I've always been into art, but once I started skiing and travelling it took the backburner, mostly because it was hard to travel with. Once I discovered the tablet and Photoshop, it really let my creativity flow again, and now I can take my painting studio anywhere.

ESPN: Is that something you think you'll focus more on when you're old and unable to stomp 80-footers regularly?

SCA: I've been trying to work it into my long-term plan for sure. Some of the aspects I've been able to incorporate into companies I work with already. Dana (Flahr) and I have worked with Atomic for the last year and a half on a new ski that we'll be skiing on this year and will be available next fall called the Automatic. Dana and I were collaborating on the design and they picked one of my paintings for the graphic for this first version.

ESPN: Any big hopes for the winter?

SCA: I like to keep it pretty open. It's good to have goals as far as stuff I want to do. With the mountains and conditions it's also important to let things come as they should. Along the art side of things, I've been talking to TGR and The North Face about doing some projection of motion art on the snow. It'd be great to have a painting and then shred through the painting.

ESPN: I look forward to seeing that. Thanks again for calling while you were on vacation. Good luck finding those empanadas.